This Page

has been moved to new address

Cool Bihari

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Cool Bihari: July 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bihar leads in Urban reforms

This may come as a big surprise to many but this report indicates that Bihar stands numero uno in urban reforms in the country. Bihar happens to be the first state in the country to enact the Model Municipal Act for ensuring all-round development of municipal areas.

Urban Development Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey before a galaxy of scientists and environmentalists on Saturday said that he state has received a sum of Rs 38 crore from the Central government for effecting solid waste management. A suitable plot of land is being acquired for disposal of solid waste.

Speaking as the chief guest at an all India training programme on bio-medical waste management organised by the Patna University Centre for Environment and Nature Conservation at Science College auditorium here, Choubey said steps have also been initiated for setting up a plant to generate electricity from waste polythene bags. It has been found that 33 metric tonnes of polythene bags can generate 9.5 MW of power.

He said registration of all nursing homes and hospitals with the Bihar State Pollution Control Board has been made mandatory and more than 700 nursing homes have already been registered. Besides, a heavy penalty has also been envisaged for the hospitals and private clinics which indulge in unscientific disposal of bio-medical waste.

Also it’s encouraging to know about the 31 Sunrise courses which have been launched by Patna University from the current academic year. In order to make higher education more vocational and to keep pace with the changing times these courses have been started on self-financing basis are expected to attract more and more career-oriented boys and girls.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Boy from Siwan..

Its takes courage to break the shackles of inertia and create a new identity for a place like siwan which has been always been notoriously labeled as a badland due to the nefarious deeds of the likes of Shahbuddin.But as they say the lotus blooms in the backwaters of Siwan and the boy has just set the right example for many to emulate.

Telegraph reports about Niraml kumar who dreams of changing the lives of people of his state Bihar with the power of his ideas. Like many at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A), the 26-year-old doesn’t aspire to a Wall Street job. However, his eyes flash with the big dream he’s nurturing.

A budding entrepreneur, he wants to use advanced technology to create a one-stop provider of basic facilities. The building blocks of his venture — Community Information and Communication Centre — will be in place by September. Over time, the centre will offer health care, education and entertainment in villages.

Nirmal, in the first year of his MBA course after having cleared the gruelling CAT last year, has made up his mind to opt out of placements, due in the spring of 2008. Showing the precision of a corporate strategist, the diminutive student predicts an annual turnover of over Rs 2,000 crore for his centre in 13 years. His aim is to be a globally recognised figure in rural development. That ambition has been emblazoned in red on a chart in his hostel.“I am going to set up a profit-making company that will work in the rural areas. The pilot projects will begin in Chhapra, Siwan and Gopalganj before the experiment is repeated in all Bimaru states,” said Nirmal.

Offers for financial assistance to set up the Rs 5-crore centre have already started flowing from overseas financiers. Nirmal has made presentations on his plan to over two dozen IAS officers, banks and venture capitalists. Three professors, including one from IIT, are helping him take his idea from the drawing board to the dust bowls.

“The profit that I will make will be ploughed back,” says the son of a school teacher, who hadn’t heard about IIM until he graduated.

He was teaching at a private institute in Hyderabad when he learnt that some of his friends were preparing for CAT. The possibility of becoming an entrepreneur excited him, and he realised a degree from the top B-school would stand him in good stead. Kudos …Way to go Nirmal !!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Unsung Heroes of Bihar-Baba Nagarjuna

जी हाँ, लिख रहा हूँ ...बहुत कुछ ! बहोत बहोत !!

ढ़ेर ढ़ेर सा लिख रहा हूँ !मगर , आप उसे पढ़ नहीं

पाओगे ... देख नहीं सकोगे,उसे आप !

दरअसल बात यह है कि इन दिनों अपनी लिखावट

आप भी मैं कहॉ पढ़ पाता हूँ नियोन-राड पर उभरती पंक्तियों की

तरह वो अगले कि क्षण गुम हो जाती हैं

चेतना के 'की-बोर्ड' पर वो बसदो-चार सेकेंड तक ही टिकती है ....

कभी-कभार ही अपनी इस लिखावट को कागज़ पर नोट कर पता हूँ

स्पन्दनशील संवेदन की क्षण-भंगुर लड़ियाँ

सहेजकर उन्हें और तक पहुँचाना !

बाप रे , कितना मुश्किल है !

आप तो 'फोर-फिगर' मासिक -वेतन वाले उच्च-अधिकारी ठहरे,

मन-ही-मन तो हसोंगे ही,की भला यह भी कोईकाम हुआ , की अनाप-शनाप ख़यालों की

महीन लफ्फाजी ही करता चले कोई - यह भी कोई काम हुआ भला !

These words were penned by legendary poet of people “Baba Nagarjuna”.Born on 30th June 1911 as Vaidya Nath Mishra in the village Satlakha, his mother’s village,he was fondly called baba by his followers.Baba was known for his revolutionary ideas and unconventional lifestyle. His writings inspired generations and he was known for his candid and anti –establishment views.

Born in a lower middle class Brahmin family of Tarauni village in Darbhanga district of Bihar, Nagarjun lost his mother when he was barely three years old. His father lived as a vagabond and hedonist. So as a child Nagarjun had to depend upon compassionate relatives and some generous landlords for financial assistance for his education. He showed excellence in the learning of the ancient Indian languages like Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit first at the rural centres and later in the cities of Varanasi and Calcutta where, alongside his higher studies he also worked for his livelihood. Though, Nagarjun's academic expenses could be met by the scholarships which he won as a bright student, he always bore the fact on his mind that he had also to support his father who could barely earn any money by himself.

After the years of learning and semi-employment in Calcutta, Nagarjun moved to Saharanpur (U.P.) where he got a full time teaching job. Apparently Nagarjun had moved to a better paying job but in fact his unsatiable urge to delve deep and yet deeper into the traditional wisdom of India particularly the Sanskrit treatises and philosophical discourses, Buddhist scriptures and handwritten manuscripts of sorts put him on the path of an unstable nomadic existence.

This pursuit took him to Sri Lanka where in the Buddhist monastery of Kelania he had to adopt Buddhism in order to have free access to the well guarded manuscripts which were inaccessible to the outside world. (This had a precedent. Nagarjun's mentor Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan had to pass through the same experience). It was in 1935 that Nagarjun became a Buddhist monk. As an imperative he had to change his name.

That is when he started his literary career with Maithili poems by the pen-name of Yatri in early 1930s. By mid 1930s, he started writing poetry in Hindi. This is when he adopted the name Nagarjun. A wanderer by nature, Nagarjun spent a considerable amount of his time in the 30s and the 40s traveling across India. He was influenced by Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan and Swami Sahajanand Saraswati.

He also participated in many mass-awakening movements before and after independence. Between 1939 and 1942, He was jailed by the British courts for leading a farmer's agitation in Bihar. For a long time after independence he was involved with journalism. He played an active role in Jaya Prakash Narayan's movement prior to emergency, and therefore was jailed during the period of emergency. He was strongly influence by Leninist-Marxist ideology. This was one of the reasons that he never found patronage from the mainstream political establishments. Coupled with this, his own vagabond way of life, became the cause of his extreme poverty. He spent his last days in illness and poverty in the poor localities of Delhi and Darbhanga. He died in 1998 at the age of 87 in Darbhanga.

Baba’s style of writing had tinge of social and political satire and also protested againt the poltical regime of the times. He wrote on wide range of issues and was loved by all for his hard hitting and incisive views.

The subjects of his poetry are varied. Effects of both his wandering tendencies and activism, is evident in his middle and later works. His famous poems like Badal ko Ghirate Dekha hai , is a travelogue in its own right. He often wrote on contemporary social and political issues. His famous poem Mantra Kavita, is widely considered the most accurate reflection of a whole generation's mindset in India. Another such poem is Aao Rani Ham Dhoenge Palaki, which sarcastically humiliates the then prime minister of India, Pt. Nehru, for the extravagant welcome thrown by him for Queen Elizabeth.

Besides these accepted subjects of poetry, Nagarjun found poetic beauty in unconventional subjects. One of his most astonishing works is a poem based on a female pig called paine daanto wali. Another such creation is a series of poems on a full-grown jack fruit .

Because of the breadth of his poetry, Nagarjun is considered the only Hindi poet, after Tulsidas, to have an audience ranging from the rural sections of society to the elite. He effectively freed poetry from the bounds of elitism. was given the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1969 for his historic book Patarheen Nagna Gachh. He was also honored by the Sahitya Akademi by appointing him its fellow in 1994.

A Socialist to the core of his heart, it was probably only Nagarjuna, after Munshi Prem Chand, who strongly advocated the cause of the downtrodden and the exploited. He wrote extensively about the rotten social system which, according to him, was being used to exploit the peasantry.

Nagarjuna was basically anti-establishment, because he was not compromising by nature. This is why he even rejected the offer of nomination to the Rajya Sabha and thrice to the Bihar Vidhan Parishad.Unfortuanlety on 5th Nov 1998 Baba breathed his last in the Khwaja Sarai locality of Darbhanga town in Bihar in the small house of his eldest son, Shobha Kant. About a month before his death, his daughter-in-law made a sentimental appeal to all Hindi lovers to come forward and provide financial help to the seriously ill poet. Her appeal fell on deaf years.

His famous protest poetry Om recently featured in Sanjay Jha’s movie Strings bound by faith and thanks to this effort of Sanjay the new generation is discovering the magic of Baba’s writing.

Cool Bihari would like to remember the great soul who enlightened the heart and minds of many but the sad truth is that he died in penury. Its an unfortunate truth that our the great legend had to bid goodbye to this world in great hardships.His writings will surely inspire generations to come and will always be remembered for his great work of Hindi literature.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Marriage Fair in Bihar

Bihar’s rich tradition and culture have unique legacy. Some of the customs and social practices are age old and have been practiced with great pride even today.One such unique practice is seen in Saurath village in Madhubani District in Bihar which holds a unique fair every year when marriages are arranged after holding negotiations in the midst of mango groves.

The marriage fair is called the "Saurath Sabha" and the patrons are mainly Maithili Brahmins. Hundreds of parents gather at the fair to find a suitable match for their wards. After fixing the matrimonial alliance marriages are solemnised. The practice of conducting such a fair had almost ended, as the parents of the boys started demanding dowry. The demand for dowry started picking up in the seventies.

Members of the Saurath Sabha, however, revived the old custom of conducting matrimonial fair. Youngsters have been prodding their parents that they are more interested in finding a match than getting dowry.

The social pressure has helped in the revival of the fair. The organisers of the Saurath Sabha have also been making arrangement for priests who help in matching horoscopes.

Dr. Shekhar Chandra Mishra, the secretary of Saurath Sabha, says: "After 1976, the practise of holding a marriage fair was on the verge of extinction. To bring it back to life, we have been calling upon the youth to come forward and take part in this fair. We have appealed to government many a times but in vain."

This matrimonial fair is usually organised during Jyestha - Aasadh (June to July) as per Hindu almanac. The popular venue of the fair is generally mango groves.The boys are keen to have an accomplished bride, and do not demand dowry and accept whatever 'gifs' are offered voluntarily.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bihar Leads from the front

It’s hearting to see the mainstream media doing some fact finding to bring out the positives which have been happening in Bihar but most of our friends conveniently choose to ignore.Good to see the prominence which is being given to the some of the areas where Bihar has taken lead and can give a lesson or two to others.

Amarnathy Tiwari talks about some of the areas where Bihar has taken a lead and has set an example for others to follow.

Bihar is the only state in India to have 50% of places in local municipal bodies reserved for women. The present government in Bihar, run by the Janata Dal (United) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), began the policy of reserving half of local municipal body seats for women. Today half of the 262,000 elected councillors to local municipalities in the state are women.

Fast track courts in Bihar have convicted and sentenced more criminals than courts in any other Indian state in the past 18 months. Between January 2006 and May 2007, a total of 11,665 criminals were convicted through speedy trials and sent to prison.More than 2,500 were sentenced to life, and 21 others given the death penalty. Critics of the speedy trials express concerns about the quality of evidence and justice being dispensed in such a short time in a country where court cases typically drag on for years. The fastest judgement in Bihar was delivered by a court in 13 days flat from the date of the incident.

Bihar is the only state in India where retired soldiers are being hired as policemen to stem the crime wave.They mostly comprise the "special auxiliary police" force - about 5,000 retired soldiers were hired last year and sent to help police various districts.Since then this special force has earned plaudits for controlling crime and taking on Maoist rebels. The government is planning to hire another 11,500 ex-soldiers soon to bolster the force. On average about 100 of these soldiers-turned-policemen have been deployed in each district.

Sudha, a dairy co-operative, is a shining exception and one of the most successful exercises of its kind in India. Launched in 1993, the co-operative's revenues from a range of milk and milk products has risen from $73.5m in 2001-2002 to $136m today. The co-operative has 6,000 outlets covering 84 towns in the state.More than 260,000 milk farmers in the state are members of the co-operative, and a private bank has even launched a pension scheme for them.

Did you know that a simplified tax system conceived and launched in Bihar is now being emulated by Sri Lanka and various African countries and has been lauded by the United Nations? Introduced by the municipality of Patna, the state capital, in 1993, the tax system, locally known as the "Patna model of taxation" simplifies property tax rates on the basis of the local area and use of property.

Property is classified according to its location, construction, use (residential or commercial), and rates fixed accordingly. States like Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have adopted the same property tax model. The UN was so impressed by the taxation model that it gave a $30,000 award to Bihar for introducing this method.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Patna Museum to be have a new look

HR reports that the display of antiquities, light arrangement in the galleries and others in the Patna Museum may soon be modeled after the Singapore Museum. The culture department is planning to impart a modern, technologically advanced look to the interiors of the Patna Museum.

It is planning to work over the development project in collaboration with the Singapore Museum, seeking technological support and guidance from Singapore. A MoU for the joint venture is to be signed soon between the two museum officials.

Confirming this the culture secretary, Anjani Kumar Singh said in Patna on Saturday that the department had taken initiatives to join hands with the Singapore Museum. It had sought their technical support for the modernisation of the Patna Museum.

“A team of the Singapore Museum officials led by Gauri Krishnan visited the Patna Museum recently to study the number of antiquities, galleries, the display of museum collection and others. We are now waiting for the study,” he said.

Patna Museum is widely known for its rich collection of Natural history and Buddhist antiquities. But their display had remained to be the old and needed to be modernised, he added. In Singapore there is a Civilisation Museum, offering visitors an opportunity to witness the development of civilization, especially in the region. The display of the collection and the light arrangement there are highly advanced and impressive.

The department is planning to adopt those technical advancements. It is also considering consulting architects there for any renovation in the galleries, he informed.The culture secretary said that the department was also planning to organise an exhibition of art and antiquities of Bihar in Singapore in November this year.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Nalanda -The glorious past and future ahead

Photo by Chandan

It’s amazing how history revisits itself and how times change. The current efforts to revive the ancient age old University in Nalanda is just another indicator of the glorious past of Bihar. The revival of Nalanda symbolizes the great future which awaits Bihar and going by efforts of Nitish govt one assume that that day is not far when history will repeat itself and Nalanda will once again become world’s greatest seat of learning and education. Interesting things is that there are many versions of what the term Nalanda means. One is that Nalam means Lotus and Da means to give. Both combined together,Nalanda means Giver of Lotus and as Lotus is supposed to represent knowledge, Nalanda means Giver of Knowledge.

What’s even more pleasing is to see the new Brand Ambassador which Nalanda has got. President Abdul Kalam has been a great admirer of Nalanda and has personally shown great interest in the reviving the historic institution. Bihar govt is thinking of offering him the top post of “visitor” at the proposed Nalanda International University, coming up at the historical site.Nalanda is attracting global attention and Japan,South Korea,Singapore and China are now coming together to bring Nalanda to back on the global map.

“You can gauge the enthusiasm from the fact that the issue figured in the recent talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao and then with the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. It also figured in the East Asian Summit held in January in Philippines this year and is likely to be raised again at the summit in November in Singapore,” says N.K. Singh, Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board.

Though countries from East and Southeast Asia—for whom Bodh Gaya and Nalanda were crucial pilgrimages—had always wanted to revive the university, it took concrete shape when it was pursued by outgoing President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He had outlined the contours of the proposed university during his special address to the Bihar Legislature last year. Of the 10 suggestions for a prosperous Bihar, revival of the university figured as crucial.

The kind of global interest which this ancient University is generating can be gauged from the fact that NYT reports on how revival of Nalanda could start a new Knowledge age for Asia.

But Nalanda represents much of what Asia could use today — a great global university that reaches deep into the region’s underlying cultural heritage, restores many of the peaceful links among peoples and cultures that once existed, and gives Asia the kind of soft power of influence and attraction that it doesn’t have now. The West has a long tradition of rediscovering its ancient Greek and Roman roots, and is much stronger for that. Asia could and should do the same, using the Nalanda project as a springboard but creating a modern, future-oriented context for a new university.
Let’s just hope that this will be a new beginning for Nalanda and a new age of knowledge which will bring greater prosperity for mankind and spread the light of knowledge and symbolize the uniqueness of knowledge which transcends the barrier of language, region, culture and geography. Nalanda was the glorious past of Bihar and surely it's revial will mean a great future for Bihar as well.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Labels: , ,

About me

  • I'm Ajit Chouhan
  • From Houston, TX, United States
My profile
E-mail Ajit Chouhan

View Ajit Chouhan's profile on LinkedIn

My Orkut Profile

Join Cool Bihari Community on Orkut

Join Bihari Bloggers Community on Orkut

Join Patna Rice Community on Orkut

Join Cool Bihari Group on Yahoo

Jai Bihar

New Page 1

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Patna Rice: Join Now !! New Page 1



My Other Blogs